Cheetahs in disappointing tour

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HARARE – The Zimbabwe Sevens rugby team completed a dispiriting run of form at the just ended South African leg of the IRB Sevens Rugby World Series after going down to Australia in the quarter finals of the Bowl Cup.

Australia’s Shannon Walker scored a hat-trick for Australia in their 38-5 win against Zimbabwe ending the Southern African countries disheartening performance in South Africa.

It was a tournament to forget for the Fortune Chipendo-captained Cheetahs side that finished bottom of pool D before dropping down to Bowl Cup.

The Cheetahs began the tournament with a 31-5 defeat to Argentina on Saturday before they suffered a similar crushing 5-37 defeat to England.

There was no respite for the Cheetahs as they went down 43-0 to Samoa in their final pool game on Saturday.

Zimbabwe finished at the bottom of pool D with three defeats from three games with Argentina finishing on top of the standings with a 100 percent record.

Argentina coach Santiago Gomez Cora said: "I can't believe it but we are growing as a team game by game, and here we top our pool. Tomorrow if we do the same as today I will be happy."

Meanwhile all the 16 teams and match officials paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela before the start of the tournament that was being held at the stadium that bears his name.

South Africa Sevens captain Kyle Brown summed up the emotional atmosphere at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

"I would love to give you an explanation but my words wouldn't do it justice. It´s a real honour and a privilege to be a South African today," he said.

Bliztbokke coach Neil Powell said: "It's been an emotional weekend and the guys are really feeding off the atmosphere inside the stadium today. It is a privilege to play here this weekend."

Rugby commentator Gavin Cowley was also emotional after the gesture shown by the teams.

“Just being able to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela who I knew personally and have met before was an honour,” he sdia.

“He was such a special man and I am so pleased that representatives of the whole world were able to be at this stadium named after him to say goodbye to him. It is a time of great sadness but also celebration because we as South Africans know what that great man did for us."

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